Campaign to bring back dram gathers global support

The dram has been outlawed as a measure for whisky for 50 years. Picture: Getty
The dram has been outlawed as a measure for whisky for 50 years. Picture: Getty
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THE campaign to bring back the dram as a legal measure for whisky for the first time in more than half a century is gathering support from across the globe, it was revealed today.

The traditional dram has been outlawed as a measure for Scotland’s’ national drink for 50 years. And the gill also ceased to be legal measure for whisky in 1995 when the move to metric brought in the 25ml and 35 ml measures for all spirits.

The team behind the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival launched a campaign to reinstate the dram as a legal measure last week after being refused permission to begin selling “drams” as the 25ml measure to the thousands of international whisky fans due to descend on the area next month for the annual celebration of Scotch.

Mary Hemsworth, manager of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, set up a Facebook campaign, dedicated to the revival of the ancient measure for spirits. And she said today that the festival had been inundated with messages of support from as far afield as Australia and America.

Ms Hemsworth said the campaign had already sparked an important debate about a word which is synonymous with Scotland and Scotch whisky. And she continued: “We have had messages of support for what we are trying to achieve from as far afield as California and Australia. People do genuinely feel a huge affinity for the dram and they are telling us that they would like to see the dram gain official, legal recognition.

“It has been clear from the debate being generated that people have very different ideas about what size a dram should be. Some people are saying the 25ml measure should be a nip and the 35ml measure should be a dram, while others are telling us that to limit the dram to a 25ml measure may seem a little stingy.”

Ms Hemsworth added: “The people who visit the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival come from all over the world, but they all have one thing in common - an incredible passion for Scotch whisky. We intend to listen to their thoughts during the Festival and if they truly do support this campaign, we will go back to the National Measurement Office to ask them to listen to the will of the people.

“The most important thing is to have a legally recognised measurement called the dram because the very word is so important to the Scotch whisky industry and synonymous with Scottish hospitality.”